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Plans reveal unique Nordic Spa concept for Edmonton

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29 May 2019 (Edmonton, AB) –  A group of home-grown entrepreneurs have revealed plans to build a Scandinavian-style, indoor-outdoor spa facility to be complete by the end of next year. A traditional Nordic spa consists of working up a sweat in a wood-heated sauna, then plunging into a cold water pool, and finally relaxing in an outdoor steam bath.

The ‘Edmonton Nordic Spa’ will be a four-season wellness experience to be built in the heart of the city. The group behind it says it will “complement Edmonton’s landscape, culture, and local way of life”. 

“This will be a world-class, four-season, destination-worthy facility and we’re confident it will be warmly embraced as a regular health and wellness routine for residents of the city and surrounding area,” says Hank Van Weelden, one of the entrepreneurs behind the project and Managing Partner of Edmonton Nordic Spa. 

Heading up a group of Alberta-based investors, Van Weelden and some of his partners are the team behind Alberta’s first Nordic spa west of Calgary; Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Hank Van Weelden

Van Weelden continues: “As we’ve been developing plans with our partners over recent months and discussing how our vision for the facility will come to life, one piece that has become very clear is how we’re all 100% committed to Edmonton Nordic Spa looking and feeling exactly like Edmonton.  It’s got to have an authentic sense of the city at its core, a signature Edmonton experience.  We have always lived and done business here, so this is something that’s really important to us.”

The Nordic Spa practice, as a way of achieving full body and mind relaxation and recuperation, has been growing in popularity across Canada within recent years.  Based on the traditional Scandinavian approach to wellness, it follows the philosophy that moving between hot, warm and cold temperatures has numerous health benefits – known as hydrotherapy. 

The ownership group behind Edmonton Nordic Spa are confident that the increasing appeal of the Nordic Spa experience as wellness therapy as well as it being a relaxing leisure activity, will not only satisfy Edmontonians but will provide a draw into the city that can only benefit the regional economy. 

“We are very excited to have the Edmonton Nordic Spa come to our destination,” says Renee Williams, Director International Market Development, Tourism Edmonton. 

“Edmonton Tourism’s reason for being is to promote our incredible destination, the products and experiences within, to visitors all over the world. Unique and breathtaking experiences like the Edmonton Nordic Spa will help our team sell the destination and inspire year-round travel.”

While the exact location has not been disclosed, plans include a facility spanning two acres and featuring three distinct areas of use: social, silent, and a group gathering space.  There will be a total of eight outdoor pools (hot, warm and cold variations, with waterfall characteristics), steam and sauna rooms, two dining options including a bistro, and several massage therapy treatment rooms – to complement the hydrotherapy experience. 

“We want this to be an experience that is deeply-rooted in its place, to complement the regional landscape.” explains Michael Dub, Principal Architect. “The design of Edmonton Nordic Spa started by thinking about how guests will move around the space.  We took inspiration from the natural water flow and geological river formations along the North Saskatchewan River, and took note of how glacier water meanders down through the mountains and into the prairies. We are actively evoking the natural carvings that water makes into the regional landscape within this concept, to create a feeling of travelling upstream in the space while moving through the hydrotherapy cycle.”

As locally-based architects, well-established and ingrained into the city, Dub embarked on this project as one that needed to feel truly ‘Edmontonian’.

“The team thought a lot about how the Nordic spa practice relates to Canada, and to Edmonton.  For example, we knew it was important to not only have the typical solo / silent areas you’d expect to find in Nordic spa facilities for meditation and relaxation, but also to incorporate a social area for guests to communicate and connect with one another during their time there; we think residents, users and visitors to the heart of the city will enjoy this fusion of wellness and community at Edmonton Nordic Spa”, says Dub.

This understanding of how a tradition that is derived from Scandinavia translates to the rituals and tastes of Canadians is something Managing Partner Van Weelden is particularly passionate about.  As a serial entrepreneur and fan of physical endurance programs, he’s visited many across North America seeking relaxation and respite from both work and demands on his body.

When the opportunity arose to create a Canadian take on the Scandinavian wellness tradition in Kananaskis Country, just one hour west of Calgary, he and his colleagues gladly took on the challenge. They opened the first Nordic Spa in Alberta in Kananaskis in March 2018.

“We’ve seen with immense satisfaction, our first spa project in Kananaskis become a great success – and so warmly welcomed by Albertans,” Van Weelden adds. “We’re a city that has a vibrant, culturally-rich festival summer season, and we all know how long Edmonton’s winters can be. Taking the time to rejuvenate via the hydrotherapy cycle, all while outdoors – whether in the brisk temperatures or basking in the sunshine – is what the Nordic Spa is all about; Alberta was made for this concept”.

The group was encouraged by the enthusiasm of last year’s The Edmonton Project. The idea for a downtown public sauna spa near downtown in the river valley became the “People’s Choice.”  

“We think the city is ready for Edmonton Nordic Spa”, says Van Weelden. It’s time to bring an Edmontonian interpretation of this increasingly trending pastime to our city and start to make the very most of how we spend time within it – during each season.”

Click to learn more about Edmonton Nordic Spa.

View photos from the Kananaskis Nordic Spa. Photo credit Travel Alberta & Mike Seehagel.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Board Member Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) Musician, Photographer, Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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PETA pro-turkey pronouncement plucked from billboard next to Red Deer restaurant

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This post was sent as a press release to Todayville.com

Steakhouse Evicts PETA’s Pro-Turkey Billboard

Moaning Restaurant’s Demands Won’t Keep ‘ThanksVegan’ out of Canada: Nationwide Ad Blitz Ahead

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, PETA placed a billboard near the Walmart store on Gaetz Avenue as part of its new ThanksVegan campaign—but the ad company is moving the nongraphic billboard after a complaint by the nearby MR MIKES SteakhouseCasual.

PETA’s ThanksVegan campaign aims to give everyone the resources that they need to celebrate the holiday with a healthy and humane vegan feast, and other similar billboards are already up in Edmonton, Lloydminster, and Lethbridge—without any complaints so far. Across Canada, Sobeys, Safeway, and other grocery stores are teaming up with PETA to showcase their ready-to-roast vegan turkeys and other animal-free offerings for the growing population of Canadians who are choosing vegan meals for the holiday and every day.

“Steakhouse owners may not want to face the facts, but when it comes to feeling pain and fear, loving their families, and valuing their own lives, turkeys are no different from human beings—and more and more people are recognizing that,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes everyone will celebrate ThanksVegan this year with a delicious meal that keeps gentle birds off the table.”

Turkeys are caring parents and spirited explorers who can live up to 10 years, but those raised for food are normally slaughtered when they’re between 12 and 26 weeks old—and millions are killed each year for Thanksgiving alone. The young birds are hung by their feet from metal shackles and dragged through an electrified bath, and they’re often still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re dumped into scalding-hot defeathering tanks.

PETA’s billboard is located at 6701 Gaetz Ave.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—offers a ThanksVegan recipe guide here. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

 

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New hand-made “Parlour” guitar features rare pre-1950’s Brazilian Rosewood

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For Red Deer luthier David Gilmore, it’s really all about the wood. So he was pretty damned jazzed when fate brought him a rare piece of Brazilian Rosewood.

Gilmore has many friends in the small and exclusive world of guitar-builders.  And they tend to help each other out, swap pieces of wood, and give each other advice and encouragement.  This special piece of Brazilian Rosewood came into Gilmore’s life as a result of one of these friendships.

“I obtained this wood from Jake Peters who is an amazing luthier. Jake obtained the board back in the 80’s from an old guy who was retiring who had it in his stash for decades. According to Jake, this wood was harvested pre 1950.”

Pre-1950!  Well before the Cites treaty, which in 1992 added Brazilian Rosewood to the list and banned its export, greatly restricting the supply of this rare and coveted wood. In the case of this beautiful handmade Parlour guitar, the back, sides, fretboard, bridge, headstock, veneer and binding are all made from this one rare piece of wood.

“I was able to cut 3 complete back and side sets out of this board, and this is my last of the stash.”

This stunning guitar features a Sitka spruce top from a board that David has had squirreled for several years.

“When going through the boards, when I tapped the board, the hairs on the back of my neck stood. That was it!”

To complement the look of the iron acetate finish, Gilmore commissioned MJS Pickups out of Mississauga Ontario to make a one of a kind sound hole pick up that has a very vintage look and feel.

If you want to learn more Gilmore Guitars and this rare and beautiful instrument, click here.

 

WATCH: A must see for guitar lovers and filmmakers

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